Pokin’ Tar.


Over the weekend I unexpectedly dropped by LACMA, saw some sweet art (including one of my favorite paintings) and wandered the grounds a bit. The coolest part was seeing tar randomly bubbling out of the ground in random spots around the park. Did you know this happened? The tar bubble-ups are pretty easy to find, you just look for the pile of tar-covered sticks. My friend who took me had been talking about how marvelous poking tar with sticks was. I was incredulous. How cool could poking the ground with sticks be? I was Incredulous until I POKED TAR WITH A STICK! It was awesome. You need to go try it. I wish I would’ve taken a few more photos, but alas, that is what you get. The bubbling tar does raise some interesting questions though. With tar randomly bubbling up all over the place why isn’t it doing it elsewhere in LA? Is it and I just don’t know about it? What’s LA’s tar-status outside the tar pits? Anyone?

10 thoughts on “Pokin’ Tar.”

  1. I have a little bit of tar that comes up in my backyard on occassion. I live near the County Museum.

  2. Let’s not split hairs, i think it’s safe to just call it tar what with calling it the “La Brea Tar Pits” and all. I mean, if they called it the “El Asfalto Asphalt Pits” that’d be different. . .

    also, seriously. GO POKE IT WITH A STICK! It’s too much fun.

  3. Ben–
    Tar pits form when crude oil seeps to the surface through fissures in the Earth’s crust; the light fraction of the oil evaporates, leaving behind the heavy tar, or asphalt, in sticky pools. Tar from the La Brea tar pits was used for thousands of years by local native Americans, as a glue and as waterproof caulking for baskets and canoes. After the arrival of Westerners, the tar from these pits was mined and used for roofing by the inhabitants of the nearby town of Pueblo de Nuestra Se√±ora la Reina de Los Angeles.

    But then, this blog frequently has posts from people who seem to have never noticed the world around them.

  4. why does everyone have to hate?

    EDTV, have you gone and poked tar with a stick?

    if so, was it awesome? do you, as i do, recommend that more people take part in this SAFE, FUN and FREE family entertainment?

    appreciate the little things.

  5. I was a little underwhelmed on first discovering the LaBrea tar pits. HOWEVER, I have yet to poke them with a stick. Is that why there’s always sticks where you see the tarholes? From other pokers? I was kind of wondering how any structure exists in that area. Wouldn’t it sink into the tar?

  6. The LA Tar Pits are absolutely my favorite thing about LA – that and the Flynt building down the street. Seems a fitting contradiction.

    Yay for Tar in LA!

  7. Oh. My. GOD. I, too, have poked tar with a stick more than once when wandering around the park! I was sneaky about it because for some reason i thought doing so was possibly illegal, which made the whole thing even more exciting. I have taken tourist friends tar poking as well, and I lie to them and tell them they’re poking tar that’s millions of years old. I understand why the museum officials must be all factual about the Salt Lake field thing and appreciate their efforts, but the facts are boring. My duty is to send my friends back to the midwest understanding that there’s far more to this wonderous region than Hollywood stuff. I let them poke tar they think is millions of years old, and they talk about it for weeks afterward! They are happy, and they think they’ve done something cool and unique – which they have.

    I’m so glad I’m not alone. And I agree that we don’t have to hate. We should all go poke tar together and be friends. I’m waiting for the day a dead rat or some other small mammal shows up trapped in the tar. Then I could poke them both AT THE SAME TIME. I dream of that day.

  8. It’s nice to know that in L.A., home of the fifteen-dollar movie and the six-dollar coffee, that we can go poke tar with a stick. For free.

    Oh joy!!! Oh rapture! Let us all go poke tar with sticks!

    I am serious. I am totally not fucking around. I’ll make plans with anyone to go poke tar with a stick.

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